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LINGUIST List 19.3017

Sun Oct 05 2008

Books: Syntax/Semantics/Pragmatics/Ling Theories/Typology: Li

Editor for this issue: Hannah Morales <hannahlinguistlist.org>

Links to the websites of all LINGUIST's supporting publishers are available at the end of this issue.
        1.    Ulrich Lueders, Mandarin Resultative Verb Compounds: Li

Message 1: Mandarin Resultative Verb Compounds: Li
Date: 01-Oct-2008
From: Ulrich Lueders <lincom.europat-online.de>
Subject: Mandarin Resultative Verb Compounds: Li
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Title: Mandarin Resultative Verb Compounds
Subtitle: Where Syntax, Semantics, and Pragmatics Meet
Series Title: LINCOM Studies in Chinese Linguistics 06
Published: 2008
Publisher: Lincom GmbH

Author: Chao Li
Paperback: ISBN: 9783895860676 Pages: 174 Price: Europe EURO 66.00

This book undertakes two major tasks. First, it offers a lexical-semantic
account of Mandarin resultative verb compounds (RVCs) within the event
structure model of argument representation and argument realization
developed on the basis of Levin & Rappaport Hovav's work (particularly
Levin 1999 and Rappaport Hovav & Levin 1998). On this account, the complex
thematic relations expressed by RVCs result from different interactions of
the individual thematic relation expressed by each component of the
compound and the composite thematic relation expressed by the whole
compound, and from the different ways of realizing the Causer and the Causee.

Second, the book places the study of Mandarin RVCs in a larger context and
examines four aspects of Mandarin RVCs from a crosslinguistic perspective,
namely the subject-oriented reading (when the causing predicate is
unergative or transitive), the "scare reading," the occurrence in the
inchoative frame of a causative alternation, and the use of a stative
causing predicate. It shows that all these phenomena are
crosslinguistically marked and thus typologically significant. It argues
that the differences among English, French, German, Japanese, Korean,
Mandarin, Romanian, and Swedish with respect to the first three phenomena
fall out of the difference in the way the resultative is formed (namely,
compound resultatives vs. non-compound resultatives), the headedness of the
compound (and the degree of topic prominence of the language).

The lexical-semantic account proposed is of theoretical significance in at
least three respects. First, lexical (and syntactic) rules, like ordinary
lexical items, are language memory bank items, although they themselves are
not lexical items. As a result, there is no need to list the outputs of the
rules in the lexicon or in the language memory bank. In turn, it does not
necessarily lead to polysemy when the same verb is used in different
syntactic frames. Second, both simple event roles licensed by simple events
and complex event roles licensed by complex events should be recognized.
Finally, the division of labor should be maintained, syntax should be made
simpler, and the complete isomorphism between syntax and semantics should
be abandoned.

Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories

Subject Language(s): Chinese, Mandarin (cmn)

Written In: English (eng )

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